What defines digital transformation?

It is a ‘buzz’ term that many of us have come across, but how can we define the term and how does it relate to the world of digital?

Understanding the terminology

The difficulty is that ‘digital transformation’ means lots of different things to lots of different people, but perhaps what is at the heart of this notion is how brands become more digitally native. It is also fundamentally about organisations changing, keeping up with change and being able to connect directly with consumers using digital as a driver.

Defining transformation

Transformation is a whole scale change to the foundational components of a business, from its operating model to its infrastructure. In most cases a transformation programme touches every function of a business, from purchasing, finance and human resource, through to operations and technology, sales and marketing.

In many cases transformation needs to take place if a business has failed to gradually evolve. Ultimately when a business evolves with its’ market, reaching new sets of customers and growing the value of existing ones – it doesn’t need to transform. A business may go through radical changes and significant restructures, but it’s only a transformation if it presents noticeable change from an outside consumer perspective.

The key drivers of transformation

Transformation needs to be triggered, and there are perhaps three key drivers of transformation: changing consumer demand, changing technology and changing competition. It is often the case that these intersect one another, and that multiple drivers bring about the need for transformation.

The key difference here with business evolution is that evolving businesses analyse the changing currents around them without the need for a trigger or warning sign. Further to this, evolving businesses are continually focused on their customers, changing and adapting with, or leading in their market. Digital In its broadest sense, it is any technology that connects people and machines with each other or with information. Therefore ‘digital transformation’ is a visible wholesale restructure accompanied by digital technologies.

Businesses are increasingly looking for help to digitally transform and grow, or stay ahead in their constantly evolving markets. Agencies and consultancies manage transformation programmes on behalf of businesses large and small. The best aim to help businesses avoid the need for digital transformation altogether. This pre-emptive approach means specialising in being close to consumers, understanding new technologies and markets, and predicting what’s going to happen next.

MFC work with their clients to see what’s coming and help them evolve to meet it; helping businesses envision the future, so they can be ready for it, develop and grow digitally and lead in their industry.

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